Shabd masters tell us we are Shabd. We however believe a different truth. We believe we are the body.
In their own way, Shabd masters warn us that our soul’s identity has been hacked. The mind and senses, like a computer virus, has hacked our Shabd-consciousness and taken over. This virus has created a personality that has posed as our Shabd-consciousness. We are so identified with this imposter that now we think we really are the body and mind. We have forgotten we are soul, Shabd, higher consciousness.
The way to “unhack” our soul’s identity is to apply a strong anti-virus fix – doing Shabd meditation. First simran, then bhajan. In simran we talk to God, in bhajan we listen. When we are in bhajan we are becoming receptive to the sound our own consciousness emits. This consciousness is the spiritual being that is going through our life experience. It is our soul or surat, our higher consciousness. It’s the real “us”.
Imagine that instead of being identified with our body we become identified with Shabd-consciousness. In Shabd-consciousness there is no suffering. Shabd is alone in majesty, bathing in its own glory. We can access its periphery by putting our attention in the inner sound, no matter how faint it is. Even if the sound is barely audible, that is enough to transform our life and to take us out of the realm of suffering and reincarnation.
The way to regain our true identity, to unhack our soul, is to put the thinking mind in pause mode while our attention becomes receptive to the sound. When we sit in meditation, we are doing something extraordinary – transforming ourselves. We are reaching a higher level of consciousness. That is the best thing we can do for ourselves and the greatest seva we can do for Baba Ji. To see that his disciples are becoming spiritually mature is what makes him happy. Baba Ji’s mission is to help his disciples get free of the wheel of transmigration and to merge back in Shabd. He tells us that the way to do this is very simple. All we need to do is simran and bhajan, and we will become aware of a higher level of consciousness beyond our body, personality, thinking, feeling; beyond good and evil; beyond the physical and astral realms. It all begins with our daily practice of meditation.
To experience that we are the “really real”, we need to dive deep, past the thinking current and into the sound current. This is not complicated – it’s really simple. All we have to do is put our attention in the inner sound, even if we think it is only some noise or buzz in our head. Baba Ji has told us over and over again to pay attention to any sound we hear inside. Don’t think that this subtle, almost inaudible inner sound has no importance. This is the greatness of Shabd appearing in the modest, humble disguise of a “nothing” sound. Actually, this sound is our life thread. It is the life that will continue to exist after we have died. And it’s in us now. It is the real “us”, our soul, our true reality, the spiritual being that is going through a human experience.
Many of us say we don’t hear anything inside. No sound, no noise, no buzz, nothing. Sometimes if we pay close attention, we will notice that there is a small sound, barely audible. But if, after due inquiry, we still hear no sound, then we should pay attention to the silence within us. With absolute concentration on the silence, slowly a sound will emerge.
The reason Baba Ji tolerates so many questions about meditation, and answers them unreservedly, is to encourage us to practise our meditation so we can experience this inner sound and become whole again. We have the opportunity now to regain our Shabd-consciousness, and the way to do this is simple: just do your simran and pay attention to the sound. That’s it. Once you have done your simran, become receptive to the sound. We cannot “do” bhajan. Bhajan is an act of receptivity. It’s not about doing, but about being, about becoming receptive to the sound within. When becoming receptive to the sound, don’t think about anything. Don’t think about Baba Ji. Don’t think at all. Just put your attention in the sound and dive deep within.
By putting our attention in the formless inner sound, our individual consciousness can contemplate on our higher or Shabd-consciousness. By paying attention to the inner sound we enter a different realm of consciousness. It is nothing that we can relate to from our previous experience. It is not important if we are almost unable to hear it. If we are able to locate it, we can fix our attention in it. That’s all – and by virtue of putting our attention in the inner sound, we are bypassing the thinking mind and reaching a higher level of consciousness where peace abides.
During bhajan we need to have the ability to keep the attention in the sound. Simran is a great help to focus attention. It helps us to develop concentration. The focus we develop in simran has to be applied to bhajan. By keeping our attention in the sound we go above the realm of thoughts where illusions are created. When the attention is absorbed by the sound, there are no concepts. When we think, we are back in the world of concepts.
Shabd is beyond concepts and illusions. Shabd is beyond karma, in a dimension of its own that permeates everything. By bringing our attention to the sound within we enter a state of awareness in which there is no consciousness of our personality or body – there is only sound-consciousness. That’s who we really are.
To contact the Shabd within is not complicated. All of us can experience it, even if only for as long as we are able to keep our attention still in simran or in the inner sound. That should be enough to give us the experience and certainty that we are on the right path with the right spiritual “director”, helping us to become better human beings while gaining peace of mind. If we are able to put our thinking-mind in pause mode, we will not only gain peace of mind but also regain our true identity.
The Great Master, Maharaj Sawan Singh, describes our real form as “a shining light – a formless radiant divine energy that does not belong to this physical plane.” In Die to Live, Maharaj Charan Singh says: “Ultimately, you become pure soul, without form and shape, and the soul just merges into the Shabd.”
We are in a body, but we are really higher consciousness or soul without form or shape. That is who we are – soul, a pure shining light, a formless radiant divine energy. In other words we are Shabd, and to unhack our soul and take back our true identity we need to control our mind.
To pause the thinking-mind, the technique that the Shabd masters teach is given in the book Spiritual Letters by Baba Jaimal Singh. In Letter 44 he says that the way to control the mind is: “First, to hear the Satguru’s instructions; second, to hear the Shabd-dhun; third, to love the Dhun; and fourth, to experience its bliss.” Baba Jaimal Singh continues:
When day by day the mind’s faculty of focused attention, which is an aspect of the soul, becomes pure through continuous practice, and all worldly desires have left the mind, the mind will never follow any external attractions, but stay only with the Satguru’s form. Then the Satguru will look upon the disciple with his glance of mercy; and as the Satguru’s compassionate glance keeps falling upon the disciple, all the gross and evil tendencies of the mind will go away, and the mind will love the soul. The flow of consciousness will then love the Shabd’s current, and the celestial Sound, taking measure of that soul’s worth, will blend it within itself, giving it a little taste of the spiritual bliss.
Thereupon the mind’s subtle (suksham) defects will also disappear. The Shabd-dhun will then keep the mind tightly in tow – tugging at it like a goat or an animal tied to a rope. Pulling the mind thus little by little, the Dhun blends it with itself and leaves it in Trikuti.
When the consciousness again descends from Trikuti to the lower Dhun (Sound), it brings along the mind, but the mind then stays with the consciousness and does not indulge in any temptations. This, my son, is the technique by which the mind is subjugated.
Our soul has been hacked. If we want to free it from the mind and senses and get it back, we need to pay a ransom. The ransom is payable only in inner-Sound currency, in small daily installments. All we need to do is listen every day during bhajan to the inner sound. If we do this, we will regain our true identity – Shabd. That is who we are. A pure shining light, formless radiant divine energy.